Harry S. Truman photo

Statement by the President on the Liberation of Korea.

September 18, 1945

THE SURRENDER of the Japanese forces in Seoul, ancient Korean capital, heralds the liberation of a freedom-loving and heroic people. Despite their long and cruel subjection under the warlords of Japan, the Koreans have kept alive their devotion to national liberty and to their proud cultural heritage. This subjection has now ended. The Japanese warlords are being removed. Such Japanese as may be temporarily retained are being utilized as servants of the Korean people and of our occupying forces only because they are deemed essential by reason of their technical qualifications.

In this moment of liberation we are mindful of the difficult tasks which lie ahead. The building of a great nation has now begun with the assistance of the United States, China, Great Britain and the Soviet Union, who are agreed that Korea shall become free and independent.

The assumption by the Koreans themselves of the responsibilities and functions of a free and independent nation and the elimination of all vestiges of Japanese control over Korean economic and political life will of necessity require time and patience. The goal is in view but its speedy attainment will require the joint efforts of the Korean people and of the allies.

The American people rejoice in the liberation of Korea as the Taegook-kee, the ancient flag of Korea, waves again in the Land of the Morning Calm.

Harry S Truman, Statement by the President on the Liberation of Korea. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231172

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